MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil prices ended week on positive note

Light, sweet crude oil prices for November delivery ended the week on a positive note on the New York market to close moderately higher Oct. 16 following the weekly rig count report.

Baker Hughes Inc. reported the US drilling rig count lost 8 units to settle at 787 rigs working during the week ended Oct. 16. The overall count—at its new lowest level since May 3, 2002—has fallen in 8 consecutive weeks, losing 98 units during that time (OGJ Online, Oct. 16, 2015).

Meanwhile on the international oil market, Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries should cut crude-oil production to help prices recovery to $70-80/bbl. His comment came as Iran prepares to increase its own production.

“No one is happy” with current prices, Zanganeh told reporters in Tehran. “OPEC should decide to manage the market by reducing the level of production.” He added that it’s unlikely that OPEC will reduce its quota at its regular meeting in December.

OPEC representatives are scheduled to meet with some non-OPEC countries Oct. 21 in Vienna for what OPEC is calling a technical meeting. Although OPEC has not released a list of participants, it’s believed Russia and Mexico will be represented at that meeting.

Energy prices

The November crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 88¢ to $47.26/bbl on Oct. 16 while the December crude oil contract was up 85¢ to $47.72/bbl.

The natural gas contract for November declined by 2.3¢ to a rounded $2.43/MMbtu. The Henry Hub, La., gas price was down 11¢ to $2.38/MMbtu.

Heating oil for November delivery was up 1¢ to a rounded $1.50/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for November was up 2¢ to a rounded $1.33/gal.

The November ICE contract for Brent crude gained 73¢ to $50.46/bbl, and the December contract rose 72¢ to $51.11/bbl. ICE gas oil for November settled at $456.25/tonne, up $6.75.

The average price for the OPEC basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $45.71/bbl on Oct. 16, down 66¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

*Paula Dittrick is editor of OGJ’s Unconventional Oil & Gas Report.

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